We also punish the hard working coaches, band leaders, choir directors and others who have worked all summer putting together their programs only to have some of their best participants knocked out at the crucial moment when they need them the most. There is no mercy for anyone!
The argument is that the children with learning disabilities can have an ARD meeting and get an IEP (Individual Education Plan). While this is being done the football season/marching band season, etc. is over. And what is accomplished is that we now have a child who “cannot fail.” This child now knows that he will receive whatever “accommodations” he needs to pass all subjects. He doesn’t really have to try at all anymore. We “punish” him by labeling him “special education” thus putting him in more of a double bind. This further adds to his sense of failure and inadequacy. But wait! We thought this law was passed to encourage children to work harder at their academics? It was designed to prevent them being passed without really achieving! Well, we have circumvented the very reason for the “no pass, no play” law and manage to destroy self-esteem in the process. The law has failed in it’s objective.
What about kids who don’t have parents who know to get them an IEP? Or who refuse? What about those kids? They just continue to suffer, get into drugs or gangs or suicide. Was this the intent of the Legislature when it passed this absurd law? There were certainly some “good intentions” when this law was thought up. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions, as we all know. Dr. Victoria Martin is convinced this is one of the bricks on that road.
There are other and better ways to ensure that our students learn what they should to pass in school. Many of those are already in place such as periodic testing to ensure the quality of education and mandatory testing for everyone prior to graduation. Art, music and athletics should be treated as if they are as important as math, science and history because they are. For some kids they are more important both in school and in life.
Dr. Martin is encouraging everyone to help to reverse this destructive law and make life meaningful again for our students in public education!